As poisonous air surrounds, Delhi braces for odd-even formula

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet ministers will also follow the odd-even formula. The CM, deputy CM and the ministers will opt carpool.

New Delhi: On Monday to control the deteriorating air quality in the national capital, the Delhi government’s odd-even scheme began at 8 am. This is the 3rd attempt of the odd-even implementation by the Delhi government, aiming to curb domestic carbon emission.

The odd-even scheme will be applicable from 8 am to 8 pm till November 15. It will not be effective on Sunday, November 10. On the first day of the odd-even scheme exercise, only even-numbered non-transport vehicles will be allowed on Delhi roads.

What exactly odd-even means?

This odd-even scheme is a traffic control measure by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government. According to the scheme, private vehicles with registration numbers ending with odd digits (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) will be allowed on roads on odd dates and those with even digits (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) on even dates. The rules will apply the vehicles with registration numbers of other states also.

Why is the odd-even formula implemented?

In Delhi, pollution level peaked to a three-year high on Sunday, while the Centre reviewed the situation with the governments of Delhi, Haryana, and Punjab and announced that Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba would monitor it on a daily basis.

The air quality index (AQI) has reached dangerous levels of 625 pushing Delhi back into the severe plus category after a brief respite on Saturday evening. There was some relief after sporadic rains on Saturday as the AQI fell below 400.

For the first time that the Delhi government has announced staggered working hours of its offices following the implementation of the odd-even scheme. The staggering of working hours is aimed at reducing traffic congestion and pollution in the city.

The working hours of a total of 42 government offices have been staggered, with 21 having office timings from 10.30 pm to 7 pm and the rest from 9.30 am to 6 pm during the implementation of the 12-day odd-even scheme. The violators have to pay Rs 4,000 by the enforcement agencies.

The state government has also deployed environmental marshalls who will check on the garbage burning and violation of the anti-pollution norms in the city.

Special Commissioner of Police Traffic Taj Hassan said: “We will deploy 200 teams across the Delhi for smooth implementation of the odd-even scheme,”.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet ministers to follow the odd-even formula. The CM, deputy chief minister and the ministers themselves will pool their car for the next 10 days.

The state government has roped in 500 extra busses for different routes to accommodate maximum commuters. The Delhi government has also held talks with app-based taxi providers who have ensured that there will be no surge pricing or overcharging by them during the odd-even scheme.

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